The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.
The New Year is about starting fresh. There is this amazing feeling of rebirth and it seems like anything is possible. You’re excited to make up for any mistakes from the previous year, and accomplish all of your future goals.
With those types of lofty dreams comes a lot of pressure. Many people think they need to make complete life-altering resolutions and massive professional goals…and as the next New Year comes around, they resolve to try again.
This New Year, how about trying a different type of goal. Let’s find ways to take better care of ourselves.
Figuring out what really makes you happy and content will actually improve your life in the process. Once we make that realization, everything else will fall into place. It’s time now to slow down, find peace, and reflect on what brings you joy.
This is what self-care is all about.
New Years’ Resolutions for Self-Care
To start this year right, let’s make a few New Years’ Resolutions to include some form of self-care. These can be in addition to other goals you’re trying to accomplish, and will actually make those other goals easier to work on.
Here are some things to think about when deciding what resolutions you want to make, so you can be sure you take good care of yourself this year and for years to come.
Make a Commitment to Put Yourself First
Make a conscious decision to do something for you, that helps you rest and relax, that improves your life, and that is good for mind, body, and spirit.
Self-care is not selfish.
What is Lacking in your Life?
Think about the last few months. During times of stress or frustration or sadness, what do you believe was lacking in your life?
Were you not spending enough time with loved ones?
Did you feel like you never had enough time to yourself?
Were you multi-tasking too much?
Recognizing what you feel your life is lacking will help you figure out what self-care habits you need to implement.
Schedule in Self-Care Just Like Any Other Task or Appointment
Write down a list of self-care habits that will help with whatever you feel your life is lacking, and add them to your routine.
To start this in the New Year and continue with it every day consistently, you need to schedule your new habits in just like any other appointment. Otherwise, it will be far too easy to forget about it and go back to how you were doing things before.
Focus on Wellness of Your Mind, Body, and Spirit
Remember that self-care is for your mind, body, and spirit. This could mean reading a bible or spiritual books. Perhaps writing in a journal, practicing meditation and mindfulness for your mental health. Focusing on your physical body by exercising and eating right. Have some fun by spending more time with friends, or enjoying your alone time.
Let’s look at some new habits that you can start today that will improve your wellness and happiness.
Healthy Habits for Self-Care
Everyone has certain habits and routines – things they do every day, usually in the same order. Even if you don’t realize it, trust me, you have them too.
The New Year is a great time to review your existing habits and create some new self-care habits that will improve your overall health and wellbeing.
When you think of self-care, what comes to mind?
Make a list of things you can do to better your life and that would serve you personally.
Highlight those items you could do on a daily basis, and add them to your daily schedule.
These will become habits that you can focus on each day as part of your new, New Year’s self-care routine.
It’s all about figuring out what makes you happy and brings you joy.
Your list of habits might include:
- Reading a chapter from an inspirational book
- Doing something creative
- Having quiet time to meditate or take a bath
- Writing in a journal
- Decluttering your home or work space
- Going for a walk
- Spending some time outside
What NOT to include on your self-care habits list:
When choosing these self-care habits, try to stay away from activities that you feel you “need” to do.
If you don’t feel better after exercising or you absolutely HATE to clean, then those might be things you have to do, but they should NOT be considered part of your self-care habits.
Instead, as you go through your list, ask if this will make you happy and bring you joy. Will it help you relax and unwind? Will doing this habit improve your life? These are the habits that can be considered self-care.
What is no Longer Serving You?
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you might have some habits you need to say goodbye to in the new year. Maybe you started a new routine last year that now just feels like a chore instead of something that makes you feel good. Now is a great time to ditch those habits and start fresh.
Create a Daily Habits Tracker
One of the best ways to be sure you keep up with these self-care habits is to create a daily habits tracker. For each month of the year, there are boxes for every day of the month, and each habit for that day.
You will get to see trends over time when you color in the boxes as habits are completed each day. This helps it be more flexible, instead of feeling like you have to do every single thing, every single day.
Now, let’s talk about a couple of my favorite self-care routines…
Declutter and Organize Your Space
Believe it or not, one of the best ways you can practice self-care is to declutter, clean, and organize your space. This includes both the space you live and sleep in, and the space you work in.
Why Decluttering is Important
Does decluttering and having a clean home really make that much of a difference?
Yes it does!
Here is a great experiment – Try making your bed in the morning when you first wake up, then see how you feel each time you walk into your bedroom the rest of the day. It has a lot more power than you might think.
When you live in clutter and disorganization, it can cause more stress and overwhelm, and make it very difficult to ever relax in that space. Make it a New Year’s goal to declutter and keep your living and work spaces organized.
Declutter and Organize as Part of Your New Year’s Celebration
The new year is often when people like to get things done. We’re working out our resolutions for the year, making plans, working on goals, and trying to have the best year yet.
This is the perfect time for decluttering your home, getting rid of anything you no longer use or want in your house, and starting fresh.
Add Decluttering Daily to Your Habits Tracker
If you’re someone who might organize everything once, but then you don’t really keep up with it, using your habits tracker is going to be super helpful.
Add decluttering or cleaning to your daily habits (or whatever tracker you like to use), to make sure you do it on a regular basis. This can be very small and simple, like choosing just one area of your home you want to organize each day.
Some examples would be:
– Clean out your bathroom drawers
– Go through junk drawers
– Organize your food storage containers
– Clean your laundry room
– Declutter your work desk
– Clean out your bedroom closet
If you don’t have time to do it daily, focus on doing it weekly instead. Choose one area of your home to organize and declutter every week, and that will ensure that you keep up with it.
A Digital Detox
Yes, I get it – this might not be a popular new year self-care goal, but it is essential. I’m not saying to never use your phone except in emergencies or stop watching Netflix, but you do need to give yourself (and your eyes!) a break from time to time.
If the only time you’re not staring into a screen is when you’re in the shower, then you know you need a break.
Blue Light and How it is Harming You
Blue light is a type of light not only emitted by the sun’s UV rays, but from LED lighting and fluorescent lights. A common place people get far too much blue light exposure is through their digital electronics, including your laptop, notebook, smartphone, and flat-screen televisions.
While in small doses it is good for you, too much can cause issues with your eyesight, eye strain, headaches, and more.
Here are just a few ways to have mini digital detoxes every day as part of your self-care routine.
Schedule ‘No Screen Time’ Every Day
Not only is it good to have a break from blue light exposure, but everyone needs some time to enjoy life without staring into a screen.
In the new year, make a self-care resolution to schedule in “no screen time”. This is time you spend every day where you aren’t using screens. You might read, write in a journal, go for a walk, enjoy nature, play with your kids, or just turn on music and have a dance party in your living room.
Avoid Screens Early in the Morning and Late at Night
An easy way to have little digital detoxes each day is to not use screens as soon as you wake up or right before you go to bed. This means turning off your TV at night and keeping your phone away from your bed. When you wake in the morning, go through your new routine before even looking at your phone.
Don’t Use Screens During Meal Time
You can also try to not use screens during meal times. It doesn’t have to be every meal, but if you can sit at the table to enjoy dinner with your family, or be mindful during lunch and just focus on your meal, you will find a lot of amazing benefits for your health and mindset.
Focus on Health and Wellness
Your health and overall wellness is another important factor of practicing self-care and improving your life in the new year. But that doesn’t mean going on a diet, stepping on the scale every day, or stressing yourself over being perfect.
You still want a happy, balanced life free of stress.
This is why I recommend that you focus more on what makes you happy, what makes you feel good, and the things that really nourish your body, mind, and spirit.
Have Quiet Time for Reflection and Meditation
During each day, try to have a little time where you have some peace and quiet. You can use this time to do breathing exercises, focus on mindfulness or meditation, visualization, or just reflecting on your day. It doesn’t have to be a long time – 5-10 minutes is more than enough. This can also be when you choose to read or write in a journal; anything that you do alone, just for you, without noise and distractions.
Multi-tasking is highly overrated and only creates more stress and anxiety.
This new year, try to reduce multitasking as much as possible. It isn’t always easy since you lead a busy life, but consider this – the more you try to do, the less you are actually getting done. It might sound counterintuitive, but when you try to do too many things at the same time, you aren’t able to focus on any one task. Instead, slow down, do one task at a time, then move on to the next. You will be more productive (and less stressed) in the long run.
Improve Your Work-Life Balance
Self-care is not just about spending time by yourself, taking bubble baths, and journaling. These are wonderful things to do for your own self-improvement, but sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to have a better work-life balance. This means giving equal attention to your personal and professional life. Making sure your job is attended to, but also spend enough time with your loved ones, relax, and have days off.
Start Your Day with a Glass of Water
After sleeping for 7 or 8 hours, your body is dehydrated. You need to hydrate as quickly as possible. If the first thing you drink is coffee, it actually has the opposite effect.
You might even find that by drinking water in the morning, you get a little boost of natural energy that has nothing to do with caffeine.
Once you drink your water, you can then have your coffee, tea, smoothie, or breakfast.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like cold water first thing in the morning, so I drink warm water and add a slice or two of a lemon. It’s refreshing and detoxing too.
Try to shift how you think about exercise and fitness. Exercising and moving your body is amazing for your physical and mental health, but it doesn’t have to feel like a chore or a punishment.
Instead of looking at exercise as a way to burn calories and have an Instagram-worthy physique, exercise more intuitively. Think of exercise as something you are doing to stay active and healthy.
Focus on the activity, not the result.
When you exercise intuitively, you don’t have a workout plan. You do what feels good each day, including a combination of fitness activities that you truly enjoy. Go for a walk in nature, work in the garden, or play a game of “tag” outside with your kids or grandkids.
Eat Healthy, Balanced Meals Without Restrictions
The new year is also a good time to focus on what you eat but in a different way. Instead of going on a fad diet to burn fat or count calories, switch to eating healthy, balanced meals.
This is where the 80/20 rule comes in. Try to focus 80% of your diet on healthy, whole foods, and 20% on other stuff. Restrictive (fad) diets tend to cause more stress and can even lead to gaining more weight, not to mention, unhealthy habits.
Eat Foods from the Earth
Speaking of nutrition, as you are focusing on self-care in the New Year, try to eat more foods from the earth.
This means eating more organic and natural foods, like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and pasture-raised or wild-caught fish, meat, eggs, and poultry.
Your health and waistline will thank you.
Spend More Time Outside
This New Year, a great self-care resolution is to spend more time outside. Not only will you get more vitamin D, but it can allow you to feel connected to the earth and ground yourself.
There is a sense of calm and peace you get just by being outside, enjoying the beauty of nature, and slowing down for a few minutes.
I hope you have found some inspiration for creating your New Years’ self-care resolutions. By adding just a few of these habits to your day, you will become happier, healthier, and more fulfilled in your life.